India coronavirus dispatch: How Goa managed to control the pandemic

Health workers collect swab samples from people for Covid-19 tests, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
Here is a selection of important coronavirus-related articles from across Indian publications. From what diseases experts say about the easing of the lockdown, to the impact on women migrant workers and how Goa managed to contain the virus so effectively. 

Expert Speak 

Phased easing of lockdown: Veteran infectious diseases experts, Jayaprakash Muliyal and T Jacob John, who were at the forefront of the leprosy eradication and pulse polio immunisation programmes, respectively feel that it’s time to end the lockdown, with one of them describing a long-term shutdown as akin to ‘burning the house to kill a rat’. They however advocate phased relief, with strict containment measures guided by surveillance mechanisms. Read their suggestions here

Citizens Under Lockdown

Women migrants in post-Covid era: Will this pandemic change women migrant's relationship with cities? Will it limit the geographies and spatial range that women choose to explore? Ipsita Sapra of Tata Institute of Social Sciences argues that the hardships of women migrants have been overshowed as men become the face of the struggle. But women are much more engrained in the informal workforce – as cooks, maids and midwives – and their relationship with work is set to change. Read more here


Post lockdown, the first order of business should be to be alleviate hardships for poor, vulnerable groups, writes C. Rangarajan, a former RBI governor and chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the PM. The government must act vigorously to contain the virus, explore the possible alternatives to a complete lockdown, and prepare a road map for removal of restrictions. He argues that a severe lockdown, while containing the virus, places several segments of society under severe hardship. The recent relaxation is a welcome step. However, it must keep this concern under continuous consideration. Read his comments here


Given India’s vastness, we need local solutions to fight Covid-19, says Ajay Shah, professor at the National Institute for Public Finance and Policy. A key question that has to be answered is: How many people can be tested in order to know how the disease is spreading, has spread, or is likely to spread. It is a challenging question, not just for the frontline health workers, but also economists. Read his comments here

Managing Covid-19 

Karnataka Zoos enforce minimum contact policy: After some tigers in a US zoo tested positive for coronavirus, Indian zoos are taking the threat more seriously. The Zoo Authority of Karnataka, which closed public viewing in 15 state zoos on March 15, has instructed zookeepers to ensure minimum contacts between themselves and with the animals. Read more here  

How Goa managed to control Covid-19: On April 20, Goa discharged its seventh and last Covid-19 patient, making it India’s first state with zero active cases, 24 days after it reported its first case. Goa’s health minister Vishwajit P Rane discusses how the union territory relied upon early lockdowns, random testing protocols, and awareness campaigns to achieve this feat. Read the interview here

India's coronavirus lockdown worsens access to mental healthcare: 10.6 percent of India's 1.3 billion population suffers from mental health disorders. In 2017, India passed a law that guarantees the right to mental healthcare. But by not making arrangements for patients during the lockdown, the government may be violating its own law. Read more here  

Rapid antibody test kits for coronavirus put on hold: States and Union Territories have been asked to put on hold the use of Covid-19 rapid antibody test kits till their accuracy is verified by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The development comes after ICMR on Tuesday advised states to stop using the test kits, mostly imported from China, as the results turned out to be inaccurate. Read more here

Understanding Covid-19 

How behavioural science can help India overcome the pandemic:  Like Ebola, the coronavirus pandemic is also underscored by human behaviour. Specific behaviours like personal hygiene and physical distancing are fundamental to halting the virus’s spread. Changing individual and group habits to promote these behaviours is now a global priority, especially so in India. Read more here  />

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